Noah's Seedcomp 23-24 reviews corner

While waiting for Spring Thing games to come, I thought I will review the 13 Seedcomp games.

Not Another Sad Meal (done)
Not So Strangers in the Night (done)
The Film (done)
Forward (done)
Solkatt (done)
A Collegial Conversation (done)
1 4 the $ (done)
Sonnet (done)
Found Journal (done)
Faery: Swapped (done)
Poetic Justice (done)
Dungeons and Distractions (done)
All The Games I Would Have Made For Seedcomp If I Had The Time (Which I Did Not, Oh Well There’s Always Next Year) (done)

Updates to come soon!

Again, I will be using the same format as in last year’s IF Comp.


Forward (Naomi Norbez)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: memory quilt, palates (this was also for the Smoochie Jam)

What it is about: You are reflecting on your past failures and how you overcame them.

The good: This is similar to last year’s The Gift of What You Notice More, just without the three prophets and sticks. Compared to Bez’s last year’s entry, this is a lot more positive. And a lot more straightforward.

The bad: It’s kind of short. Someone didn’t mention yoga.

The Huh: I really don’t have anything to comment here, except that it’s less controversial than the author’s previous entries, and hoping the crisis gets resolved.

Grade: 67.7%


Found Journal (KnightAnNi)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: Music from the past

What it is about: You found a strange journal. Is it haunted? Nobody knows.

The good: It’s a poem! It’s (probably) a haunted romance! It’s juicy!

The bad: I can’t see most of the graphics. Except the final one.

The Huh: This diary was written by a ‘mysterious friend of yours’, but what happened to them? Where are they now? Where are they going? Still nobody knows. ‘Passing through this place into the next’ suggests somebody (or something) died. And became … the devil? Looks like I’m starting this one with some really moody and dark entries.

Grade: 65.1%


All The Games I Would Have Made For Seedcomp If I Had The Time (Which I Did Not, Oh Well There’s Always Next Year) (Cerfeuil)

Made in: iffinity
Seeds used: Bringer of grain and seed, Catherine’s letter, Dear diary, Mold and mildew, Nunz with gunz, personal assistant, reverse a poem

What it is about: You are trying to come up with a game for Seedcomp, but you, unlike in reality, do have enough time. So what seeds do you want to use, and what game will you write?

The good: If Configuration Uploader, Yay Games, CompXX, Are You a Chef?, Pick up the Phone Booth and Die, Twine Story, Lake Adventure all married and have children, this would be it. This would feel right at home for SpeedIF preIFComp edition. Seriously, it’s really fun to mix and match the seeds to see what funny games come out. All of them fictional and hypothetical of course. So. Much. Meta.

The bad: Where’s my XYZZY command? Why can’t we combine everything? The reviews spoiled some of the fun. In fact, this one feels like a budget version of Joey Jones’ IFDB Splunking from another jam.

The Huh: If this is just a joke game like what happened to PUTPBAD 3, and even more so to have a mock IFDB UI, then I’ll probably assign a joke grade here.

Grade: 60.2%


Faery: Swapped (Mathbrush)

Made in: Inform 7
Seeds used: Dream Ideas, Weirdcore Inspiration, Cthulhu’s Babysitter
Warning: I was one of those who beta-tested this one. Yes, I was daring enough to beta-test a parser entry when I have yet to beta-test any Choicescript entries. So this one will be rather biased.

What’s it about: Someone stole your name, and it looks like a changeling is to blame. Can you transform back to your usual self? All while at an unusual party?

The good: The much-anticipated sequel to Metamorpheses is finally here. Compared to the previous version, there are a lot more helpful hints. The setting makes you want to go urgh and wow at the same time. There are just enough things to manipulate- but you’d be wondering why we can’t rename the curtains as paper, for instance. Fourth-wall break at the end.

The bad: Sometimes you get weird responses like ‘the dog picks itself up and goes away’. Still some places where you can get stuck easily. Not enough locations, but given the former, it would have made the game way harder.

The Huh: Again I got stuck near the endgame, and trial and error was needed to complete it. Am I allowed to drop the name I’m carrying? Then again, the bar set by Emily Short when she did Metamorpheses was very high (2nd in IFComp 2000)- she originally intended to be an experimental work on object manipulation and simulation- things which still bewilder me- that the author managed to pull off a spiritual successor well. I hope David Wellbourne could do a walkthrough on his website someday.

Grade: 78.5%


A Collegial Conversation (Tabitha)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: 1 link = 1 viewpoint changed, palates

What it is about: The residents of Zeilo’s government complex have gathered for another one of their huge parties. See the story from the point of view of people from different social classes.

The good: This is a sequel to Tabitha’s other work, Structual Integrity. The point of view keeps changing with each link- difficult to pull off, but more signposting could help. It illustrates the class divide and ‘being a pawn of the ruler’ effect well. Everyone’s points of view are also comprehensively and fully fleshed out.

The bad: Well, you can’t see the entire story from a single person’s point of view until you replay it. It’s also a little on the short side.

The Huh: As mentioned, this is a third person lens narrative. Those familiar with ‘You find yourself at the entrance to a large cave’ and such will find it disorienting at first.

Grade: 74.7%


Dungeons and Distractions (E. Joyce)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: AD&D

What it is about: As the title suggests, this is a parody of Dungeons and Dragons. You have been turned into a werewolf, and you want to make friends via the most conventional way an IF fan does- which is tabletop RPG, more specifically D&D. Unfortunately, you’re the GM, and you and your teammates all have ADHD, and the challenge is to prevent yourself from getting distracted too. Sounds easy? Think again.

The good: Like Collegial Conversation, It’s a follow up to the author’s other work, Social Lycanthropy Disorder. That one had a Social discomfort stat- and this has a distraction (it’s in the title) stat. The challenge is to do stuff that make you least distracted. It usually never works out, and I always fail the test. Best one was 5 points. Oh well. The meta is strong with this one.

The bad: Where’s my achievement board? I’m not quite sure if this is a realistic simulation of the actual TTRPG though… I also was hoping for even more humorous distractions- the author is known for their humor after all.

The Huh: The author dedicates this to all the players who had to put up with the author’s ADHD self as the GM during their roleplaying sessions. Same thing- to all my friends over at the english drama club in secondary school who had to put up with my videoing in my head sessions just because of my autism, I really feel it- badly.

Grade: 76.3%


1 4 the $- One For The Money (Charm Cochran)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: Anatomical Angel, Mold and Mildew, Content warning

What it is about: The toxic challenges of consumption- cryptocurrency, forums, food. And not to mention a black grue-like substance is after you. This may seem just like a slice-of-life piece, until…

The good: The author just loves writing horror stuff- like last year’s Gestures towards Divinity and that Frankenstein simulator for Ectocomp. Those strange reflective questions- it seems like your mirror self is talking to you. Sounds familiar? You bet it does.

The bad: Well, I thought that this one will delve more deeply into the perils of unfettered consumption. I guess I was wrong. And also that big black fungus is too similar to that giant fish from Eat the Eldritch, only coming at the endgame, and worse still, you are the one who got yourself into this mess.

The Huh: You either get eaten by the big black fungus or starve to death or let the devil in the mirror finish you off. Just like last year’s IFComp entry. ‘You either die a villain or live long enough to see yourself become the hero’- except in this case, nobody wins.

Grade: 71.2%


Thanks for the review! I haven’t actually gotten a chance to play Eat the Eldritch yet—sounds like I should get on that! Also, you got me with “nobody wins”: I’m a sucker for a downer ending.


Poetic Justice (Onno Brouwer)

Written in: Dendry
Seeds used: Poetic Justice(?)

What it is about: You’re a poet who has been accused of plagiarism. The lawyers: four other famous poets. Will you prevail and secure your rightful place in the annals of poetic history, or will you succumb to the weight of the accusations?

The good: Last year’s IFComp had references to Pac-Man (Puppet Head) and Metroid Prime (Little Match Girl). It appears that the trend has continued into 2024. At the beginning, we have to choose our defendant. Kudos to the writer for using Dendry (Bee was remade in Dendry) and using accurate information from Wikipedia. Their profiles- Sappho, John Milton, Tagore, Omar Khayyam are complete with quality, virtue and vice. Sounds appropriate, except that you have to choose one to be your defendant, and this feels like Ace Attorney and Pokemon having a child. Next, you have to examine their evidence and then let them battle each other out. Great cultural representation here. Which we had a world poet congress in real life where poets from across history debate on their styles.

The bad: This one probably needed more humor, much like in One King to Loot. We also need more modern poets I guess. No Chinese poets mentioned, probably because Du Fu appeared in Travis Moy’s Prepare For Return from last year’s Seedcomp.

The Huh: The strategy was to ensure they beat each other in a rock-paper-scissors way. And I was surprised that the author ended up going with a haiku, which weans we are Japanese- and the abovementioned video games are of Japanese origin. It just comes full circle.

Grade: 76.5%


Thanks for the review! I am curious about the (?) after the seed’s name though. I am pretty sure I mentioned it on the credits page and in the entry form. The seed contained the intro piece mentioning the four poets. The player chooses the poet presiding the trial (not really the defendant!) but maybe my writing is not clear enough on that. I hope you enjoyed the puzzle! I wanted to keep the identity of the player secret until the last moment (the game ends with the Wikipedia page of the PC.) although once people see the haiku they can already guess…


Due to health issues, I ended up making the game in about a week, so I didn’t have time for extra flourishes like that. Maybe in a post-comp release! (For the same reason, there’s just not as much going on in it as there is in SLD, so it’d be a smaller number of achievements anyway.)

FWIW, neither SLD nor D&D is designed for the player to completely avoid discomfort/distraction—it’s all about trying to keep your Brain Problems to a manageable level while dealing with a time limit and the desire to have a moderately satisfying social experience. 5 points is actually pretty good!

Thanks for the review!


Not Another Sad Meal (Manon)

Made in: Adventuron
Seeds used: Comfort food (this was also for the Recipe Jam)

What it is about: A cooking simulator. You’ve got a hangover. Time to actually cook something decent.

The good: If You are a Chef, Creative Cooking and Assembly (the latter two from last year) had a child, this would be it. Like mathbrush’s entry, hooray for clickable items! And there are three things you can make, so it increases the replayability. Like All the Games for Seedcomp, this really feels more like a SpeedIF piece.

The bad: Looks like not all the stuff are even possible to add to your inventory. At least one item, the bottle of sauce, is not implemented. There is some attempt at humor, but maybe not enough. Well, not as much as Eat the Eldritch. Or even Assembly.

The Huh: I was surprised that it would be in retro-style Adventuron rather than the more modern-style of Inform 7. (Some like me would even say Adrift is better since there is absolutely no movement!) Especially since this has no graphics. The author is, as usual, full of their reflective and moody sentiments. Given how inexperienced the author is at parser, the fact that the refridgerator, stove and table are all things that can be entered (in/out), makes it rather questionable- I am no parser expert myself, and given that this was originally an experimental piece for the recipe jam, it’s not that a big deal to fuss over.

Grade: 78.0%


Solkatt (Benydanette)

Made in: Decker
Seeds used: Weirdcore Inspiration, Seashore, 60 pieces of architecture (this was also for the Shufflecomp) (French version available)

What it is about: You’re a depressed 26 year old, still living with your parents. You have been seen as the fourth tire. Explore your house, recollect the memories and find out … that aliens have been spying on you this whole time? Not only that, but you’ve got a magnifying glass that lets you see said alien messages.

The good: Much like Hand Me Down and Lake Adventure from last year, this one is highly moody and reflective. All three have a computer you can turn on. And outright depressing. The similarities with the latter are very obvious. Plenty of dark and evocative messages when clicking on stuff to examine them. For example, clicking on the coloring books in your brother’s bedroom which is now a storeroom, that is > X coloring books gives the response “These are my old coloring books. My mother kept them all, because she thought it was impressive that I managed to stay within the frame when coloring. My only talent: I never go overboard.”

The bad: I thought this would be a parser entry not unlike Lake Adventure, and when it nearly wasn’t, I was shocked. It can be a little difficult to unlock new areas. And the graphics can be quite fuzzy too, even more so since this entry, unlike the parser entries, is more heavily dependent on said graphics to convey the depressing message of being rejected by your own family, and friends too. Your parents are more caring towards your elder brother- this is a trope seen in quite a number of (Asian) families, and it is implied that the PC is female. Also, I need a map. Lake Adventure had one, but not this.

The Huh: I had problems triggering the ending, and even before that, I couldn’t go beyond some rooms. Thought that some sort of secret thing was needed parser-style. Who knew that the aliens were out there to, well, destroy the world as usual? For you, it was your last day at work. For them, it was just an ordinary Tuesday. Yes, that quote is from M. Bison from Street Fighter 2. The similarities between this one and One For The Money are also very striking. Why are there so many horror entries this year?

Grade: 72.9%


Thanks for the review!
I’ll try to check what’s happening with the sauce bottle…

Just wanted to talk about this point:

While you can have graphics in Adventuron, it is not a required element to make a retro-like game. There are plenty of neat Adventuron games that don’t have any graphics (or have very little customisation). For example: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: The Text Adventure or The Last Mountain or In a Tomb with a Donkey or even Igor Quest.
I don’t know how to use Inform, btw. It’s not as easy to pick up as it seems. Have you made a parser game before?


Not so Strangers in the Night (Manon)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: 100 photographs, 1 link = 1 viewpoint change, 60 pieces of architecture (this was also for the Shufflecomp)

What it is about: Two friends Zach and Irene pretending to be strangers. An argument, a car ride, a moment of romance.

The good: It pretty much showcases the tension between lovers- that car ride, a vicious argument, nearly getting drunk, making out etc. In fact, this could easily be mistaken as a SmoochieJam entry. The author’s stuff tends to be rather heavy on mood and atmosphere, and relies on the big picture to push the story forward. This is in contrast to my style which is typically full of action and detail-intensive.

The bad: I didn’t know who Lola and Joseph were until I realized that the song Lola+Joseph was used for the Shufflecomp. Thus I thought there were 4 people.

The Huh: What happens if you decline the car ride? It can be a little too linear sometimes. The fuzzy pictures this time add to the atmosphere.

Grade: 70.8%


Sonnet (TaticurnFriend)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: Reverse a poem, Palates

What it is about: You attend a Valentine’s Day party. Talk to the partygoers and find out what they’re up to!

The good: This is divided into four stanzas, to fit in with the theme. There is an option to rewind at each checkpoint! Like in Collegial Conversation, there are character profiles. There is just the right dose of literary (Shakespearean) references and humor. As in Poetic Justice, there is a hint of the same.

The bad: The ‘Ask Character A about Topic X’ feels standard in a parser, but not really here, since there is no way you can exhaust all the options before the time is up. I still don’t get the endgame entirely. No idea since I win sometimes and I lose othertimes. But you’re still single, right? At least the endgame is indeed, as advertised, dramatic.

The Huh: No actual poetry, but the conversations do the talking (pun intended). I’m impressed with the fact that the author managed to pull off something interesting in so short a time- this was written over the course of one weekend. No color-coded signposting?

Grade: 74.9%


The Film (studiothree, LoniBlu, precariousworld)

Made in: Twine
Seeds used: Commentary, nunz with gunz

What it is about: A movie leads to the break-up of a group of friends. Can you prevent it, or will all hell break loose? Choose from 8 possible endings!

The good: Remember Repeat the Ending from last year? This is a group of friends acting out an old movie- in the vein of Lake Adventure and Hand Me Down, only this time, it’s a movie. Not only that, it’s the original edition (a la Repeat the Ending). And moreover, there is an evil counterpart to a certain someone. And the usual monster in the television. Good degree of replayability.

The bad: It’s in the third person, so it’s a bit hard to get into and follow. In particular the numerous flashbacks. Why no stats screen? I got 2 endings. Neither felt like a proper conclusion with cliffhangers still there. Well, expect the unexpected.

The Huh: It’s presented too much like a drama script, appropriately enough. More horror, so watch out. Narcissus is now the next Goncharov, enough said. I decided to destroy the One Ring, but it keeps coming back… time to move on…

Grade: 70.2%

This is the last one. Phew!


Thanks for that - much appreciated.
Hear you on the “ask about x” question, think I was just concerned it was clear who you were addressing - or possibly just going demented by then, the dialogue in Q2 was the last bit I wrote. There are some limits on how much you can ask, and which questions are available. Definitely will think on this.
Sorry about the endgame. Possibly too subtle? There’s definitely method in it in my head.
I’m not sure what you mean by “color-coded signposting”?
Thanks again!


And now… the awards!

Best in Show:

  1. Faery: Swapped
  2. Not Another Sad Meal
  3. Poetic Justice
  4. Dungeons and Distractions
  5. Sonnet
  6. A Collegial Conversation
  7. Solkatt
  8. 1 4 the $
  9. Not So Strangers in the Night
  10. The Film
  11. Forward
  12. Found Journal
  13. All the Games I Would Have Made For Seedcomp If I Had the Time

Best Puzzles: Faery: Swapped
Most Down-to-Earth: Not Another Sad Meal
Most Historically Accurate: Poetic Justice
PC in the Most Need of a Hug: Dungeons and Distractions
Most Scope-Ambitious: A Collegial Conversation
Most Romantic: Sonnet
Most Horror Intensive: 1 4 the $
Most Surreal: Not So Strangers in the Night
Best Use of Graphics: Solkatt
Most Reflective: Forward
Most Atmospheric: The Film
Most Unexpected: Found Journal
Most Hilarious: All the Games I Would Have Made For Seedcomp If I Had the Time